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Friday
Oct112013

Grand Canyon, Statue of Liberty to Reopen Despite Shutdown

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In spite of the government shutdown, the Grand Canyon will reopen to visitors this weekend. Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer says they have pulled together the funds to keep the park open for seven days.

"We've had donations brought to the table and the state will put in dollars and we will get it open for Columbus Day weekend," Brewer said.

The governor expressed her excitement Friday for the park's reopening, tweeting, "Great news! I've just negotiated a deal for #AZ to fully reopen @GrandCanyonNPS tomorrow!"

Initially the federal government was not so thrilled at the idea of opening the park to visitors, but ultimately relented. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer estimates it will cost the state about $93,000 a day.

"We know we can open it for a week, it costs us about $93,000 a day and we've got that all covered," she said.

Meanwhile, the state of New York has entered into an agreement with the National Parks Service to keep the Statue of Liberty open as well.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state will pay for National Park Service personnel to return to work at Liberty Island National Park. It will cost the state $61,600 a day.

In a statement, Cuomo said keeping the park closed during the government shutdown "means we are losing visitors who would otherwise be spending at our local businesses …"

He added, "We will not allow this international symbol [the Statue of Liberty] of freedom to remain closed because of dysfunction and gridlock in Washington. I commend [Interior] Secretary [Sally] Jewell for reaching this agreement, and urge Congress to open the government."

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ABC News Radio